Venture capitalists fears for London’s fintech future is the starkest of warnings

While UK fintechs are playing whatever is in front of them amid the uncertainties caused by Brexit the people putting the money into them are clear that things could take serious turn for the worse.

When I speak to fintechs or attend their presentations they will always try and be positive as businesses should. They do talk about how Brexit could cause a shortage of skilled staff and even funding but they are generally positive. They see how illogical Brexit is for business and they are not alone.

But they remain positive about London future as a fintech centre.

But if the money to invest in fintechs dries up in the London they will have to follow the money.

So hearing from the venture capitalists themselves at London Fintech Week earlier this week really brought home the precarious position the UK fintech industry is in.

These are some of the comments made by a panel of VCs.

Martijn De Wever, CEO at VC fund Force Over Mass Capital, said said London is at risk of “losing a big portion” of fintech business at the moment.

“What you are seeing right now is all the other countries jumping on it and trying to get companies to open operations in their countries,” he said.

“It will become more and more attractive to move operations elsewhere,” he said. “Technology doesn’t know any boundaries, so it doesn’t really matter where your organisation is as you just need access to talent.”

Nikita Tchesnokov, principal at fintech-focused fund Gauss VC, said: “Will people be able to come here as easily as in the past in order to bring the skills necessary?” he said.

Alex Macpherson, chairman of VC fund Octopus Ventures, said:  “Talent is an issue for the companies we work with,” he said. “How do you continue to scale up? Where you have businesses scaling up, they will be thinking whether they should do it in Berlin or Paris or Switzerland.”

I wrote this article following a day at the Fintech event.

Then we had the white paper. The government’s plan for its future relationship with the EU. I admit I have only skimmed through it, but from what I read about things including the financial services sector is that the relationship could be very complex and that there is a lot of cake that the UK  government wants to eat. The elements the=at the EU will reject jump out at you even when skim reading.

Read it for yourself here.

I would really like to hear your views so please post comment.

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